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Fresh Up Dance Party

In celebration of the Bahamian “fresh up” attitude, the MFA presents a tropical-themed party from 7 to 10 pm July 29 featuring DJ, dancing, and Bahamian-influenced cuisine and drinks. Don your best Going Out Clothes as you and your friends will be mingling with featured artist Gio Swaby!   

Looking for inspiration? Summery bright colors, floral prints, enamel jewelry, and straw bags are traditional. The party happens in the museum Conservatory; tickets are $30 for non-members with admission applied to the cost of a new membership. Go to    

Whole Home Aesthetics

Attention to detail in all aspects of the home make for better living.

By Beth Ann Drake

Kitchen + Bath

Renovations + Designs + Installation

Home design incorporates many aspects when creating your ideal living space, indoors and out.  From initial construction or remodel to décor, furnishings and artwork, the experts in each facet of the process are all seeing the same trend.  Mindfulness of artistry in every detail and how that makes the homeowner feel when living in the space.  This theme weaves through the entire home design process from concept inception to completion.

We talked to Tiger Construction and Development owner Tom O’Brien, who has completed 34 new builds recently in St. Pete with a team that has over 30 years of experience.   “Folks are interested in their homes being designed into one cohesive story, like a piece of art with a consistent theme that complements their personalities and individuality,” he says.  “The stone, the floors, the counters and fixtures all coming together to convey the personality of the owner.”


What about current trends?

“Homeowners are loving the true 5/8 hardwood floors complemented by either Italian or Brazilian stone,” he says.  “We’re also seeing an increase in demand for 3D epoxy flooring which is truly one of a kind.  These floors are often matched with stone, resulting in something of a signature for the homeowner.”

When the tone has been set, furnishings play a big part in creating a home environment that is in tune with the owner’s artistic vision.  Joseph Poltorak of Joseph Furniture creates one-of-a-kind handmade pieces working in wood.  He is seeing popularity in simple functional lines leaning toward a mid-century modern style, along with strong geometric shapes and subtle curves or chamfers as an accent in each piece.

“There is more of a focus towards a natural wood accent with possibly a live-edge to bring an organic feel to the home,” he explains.  “The color pallet is also maintaining a neutral tone overall, bringing calm in each living area.”


Joseph furniture creates heirloom quality pieces without quality compromises. When a client has a need for a specific form or function, he provides it.  Recently a collector of fine Waterford crystal wanted a cabinet to showcase the collection.  The massive weight of the crystal meant proper shelf size dimensioning had to be carefully designed for support.  The finished product was 8 feet tall and 3 ½ feet wide.

Designing a thoughtful space within a home is heavily swayed by the homeowner’s art itself.  Artist and owner of Gulf Coast Gallery Pam Van Zant is seeing a strong demand for abstract art.  She notes: “People are tired of feeling restrained, contained even, from the confines of our society and the pandemic and I think they are looking for art that frees them and speaks to them.”

Art creates the mood and the emotional state of mind in a space and as an artist herself, Pam says: “I’m seeing demand for bold pops of color.  Even on black and white prints, you will find one bold color or a few bold colors.”

When selecting or commissioning art she suggests you ask yourself what kind or energy or mood you want to create.  This may take some inner reflection and research as to what colors and designs speak to you.  Pam’s current project is a resin sculpture she is creating to mimic an ocean wave. Using natural elements such as sand, shells and mica powders, the goal is to capture the movement of water in nature.

Artistry within your personal space is important, and closet space is an area where homeowners can create a functional and inviting area personalized to their individual tastes and needs.  Maximizing storage space with a solution that is aesthetically pleasing is a common challenge.

“Our most popular products are white Shaker style cabinets and components, which appeal to 90% of our clients,” said Tony Montanez, who specializes in custom closets at New Closets Today.  “We often see this style throughout the whole home.”

His advice to homeowners undertaking a new project is to set goals rather than trying to preplan every detail.  Keep an open mind and allow a designer to do what they do best.  Although massive closets can be complicated, Montanez likes to keep things simple.  On a recent design of a 30-foot-long closet with 10-foot ceilings the solution was to take advantage of the added height by adding an extra tier of storage.

Extending your personal style to outdoor spaces makes sense when you live where others vacation.   Outdoor living spaces are mimicking interior furniture lines according to Stephanie Stegman of Elegant Outdoor Living.  “The transitional/modern style outdoors is trending right now,” she says. “Outdoor leather fabrics along with styles and outdoor pillows constructed and designed to look more like luxury indoor pillows is very popular.  More streamlined styles and frames not as bulky.  We are seeing lots of black, with natural elements like teak and driftwood, and accents of golds and greens.”

Toss pillows are being designed with beautiful designs and colors adding fringe, rope details, embroidery, faux fur, faux leather all created with outdoor fabric.  Clients are also requesting smaller scale furniture, but adding separate entertaining spaces outdoors.  For instance, having a dining area as well as a fire pit chat area.    


Tiger Construction and Development LLC:

Joseph Furniture Co. LLC:

Gulf Coast Gallery:

New Closets Today:

Elegant Outdoor Living:

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